Photo: Meath County Council

Meath landowners to be offered support to improve biodiversity

Meath Landowners are to be offered ‘hassle-free’ support to create more space for nature on their land.

The Hare’s Corner, an innovative biodiversity initiative coordinated by the Burren-based landscape charity Burrenbeo Trust, is being rolled out this year to landowners in Meath in conjunction with Meath County Council.

This follows the recent successful piloting of the non-profit initiative in Clare and Mayo, which saw a total of 590 Hare’s Corner actions implemented in those counties since 2021.

Inspired by the term ‘The Hare’s Corner’ - an old farming expression for an awkward section of a field that wasn’t intensively farmed and so was ‘left to nature’ - this project aims to help create habitats that have proven benefits to biodiversity, climate-action as well as to the wellbeing of participants.

The Hare’s Corner project offers landowners ‘hassle-free’ support to carry out simple but impactful actions for biodiversity. Some of the actions that participants can implement include the creation of a wildlife pond, a native mini-woodland, a heritage mini-orchard with apple trees from the Irish Seedsavers Association, or a bespoke ‘plan for nature’. This support is offered in the form of materials (native trees and heritage apple trees), micro-funding (e.g., machinery costs for pond digging), professional services (such as a hydrologist’s visit to help plan a pond or an ecologist’s visit to ‘plan for nature’) and guidance.

Ben Malone, Biodiversity Officer for Meath County Council, said: “Meath County Council is delighted to partner with The Hare’s Corner project and welcome its launch in Meath. Many people want to do something for nature but are confused about what they can or should do and how to do it. The Hare’s Corner meets this need by providing encouragement, advice, and micro-funding to do it. Meath County Council is looking forward to providing the local support necessary to bring this fantastic opportunity to willing participants in the county.”

An application portal will open on Friday, 15th March for landowners in Meath and can be accessed through The deadline for submission of applications is Sunday, 31st March.

According to Lee Worrell of Burrenbeo Trust: “Landowners can apply for one or more biodiversity actions, and participation in the Hare’s Corner involves no cost to the landowner and minimal hassle. All we ask in return from beneficiaries is their commitment to act as ‘stewards’ of their own special Hare’s Corner”.

Places will be limited by the available budget, so screening conditions, such as suitability of the proposed site for the biodiversity measure, may be used to select applications. The project is open to applications from landowners, including farmers, as well as schools and community groups. To avoid double-funding, farmers involved in ACRES or the NPWS Farm Plan Scheme are currently not eligible to apply.